By Ben Solomon, Lynn Demos, Steve Wojanis
Media Freedom International
The International Committee of the Red Cross has reported that the underground water system in Gaza is at risk of collapsing. The water system could also contaminate the area’s drinking water, potentially causing an outbreak of Hepatitis A and parasitic infections.
Although the Israeli government has de facto responsibility over the area of Gaza, the government is doing little to correct the problem. At the beginning of the Israel/Gaza conflict in December 2008, the Gazan coastal aquifer was a central target of military attacks. Around $6 million worth of damage was done to the water system, but nothing has been done to restore the system and prevent an outbreak of disease.
The United States has attempted to help Israel correct this problem. When United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Gaza City in March 2008, she announced that the United States was giving $900 million in aid to help reconstruct Gaza. Over six months later, no allocations of that money or repairs to the water system have been made.
“Gaza’s Water Supply Near Collapse” Mel Frkyberg, Inter Press Service, September 16, 2009
“UN: Gaza water supply could collapse in wake of Israel war” DPA, Haaretz, September 14, 2009
“Environment Emerges as a Major Casualty” Erin Cunningham, Inter Press Services, May 4, 2009